May 062017

We all do it, we have to or else we simply aren’t living but I often wonder how many people are doing it properly. And further to that, I wonder what is considered the “proper” breathing technique.

It All Started

I was in elementary school, learning how to play trumpet in the school’s concert band, with a bit of Jazz lessons mixed in, when the director changed. For years I had a dream of an advisor, motivating and strict but while being kind and understanding and I loved it. Then things changed.

A new director took over and, although she seemed eager to help, her methods were a little off-putting for me and I struggled (something I hated doing, especially knowing how costly my lessons were). There was tension and it came to a head when one day she took the trumpet from my hands, had me lay on a table on my back and just breathe.

I did so, as I had been doing for about 12 years of my life and that’s when she lost it. I truly believe she started talking nonsense and I simply couldn’t believe what she was saying.

“You’re Not Breathing Right”

After many years of being alive, playing a brass instrument, basketball and being able to speak this lady was telling me I was doing what I did naturally all my life all wrong.

I did all the things I feel a 12 year old student would naturally do – I laughed and then told my parents. Apparently my belly was rising when it shouldn’t so I wasn’t getting enough oxygen into my lungs to be able to play my instrument of choice required.

I didn’t give up, it motivated me more as I couldn’t just switch what my subconscious had always done and, to me, done well. So I played that trumpet and did so very well through elementary and a bit in high school.

<h3>Years Later</h3>

Now¬† that I’m older I still find myself puzzled and monitoring my breathing habits on occasion and now, quite often, am hearing that others are doing so as well.

With meditation and a general focus on well-being through Yoga etc, breathing correctly is a best practice and a basic one for many to start with so I have to ask… how do you breathe?

Inhale, exhale.

Thank you for reading,

Sarah Butland

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